When you walk into the office of a medium- or large-sized enterprise, you'll rarely see the company's HR managers stay at their desks. When you do, they're most likely busy organizing records, scheduling meetings and interviews, and more. With so many responsibilities on their plate, HR leaders may prioritize one task over another, leading to delays in internal operations and low employee satisfaction.
We often forget that HR leaders are human too, and letting them handle a mountain of work will make them feel burned out and be prone to errors. As Cal Newport, author of the best-selling book "Deep Work," pointed out, constant busyness implies that a business has an outdated factory mentality―one with a "push" instead of a "pull" system―that kills productivity.
Therefore, instead of turning HR managers into machines expected to handle recruitment, employee engagement, policy enforcement, and everything else at the same time, why not use technology to support the HR role?
This article will discuss how technology can help HR managers streamline their tasks and even boost employee satisfaction.
The role of tech in HR By the early 1960s, fax machines had been instrumental to companies that wanted to send documents safely to other offices or individuals. The technology saved companies from costs they previously spent on messengers, couriers, or mailing services.
Fast forward to today, where technology has evolved into more advanced systems, fax machines have been replaced by cloud-based computer programs and even something as convenient as mobile apps to help HR leaders streamline their work in different aspects of their roles.
For example, there are also tools for talent management such as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), recruitment marketing programs, and onboarding software―all meant to help HR leaders and recruiters seek and employ quality talents. Some companies regularly get hundreds, sometimes even thousands of applications and take up so much of HR leaders' time to go through all of them. With the help of the technologies mentioned above, recruitment and onboarding become more efficient and less complicated for HR leaders.
Some of the top companies in the world today employ tech to boost employee engagement. For example, tech giant Microsoft uses data to make decisions in the workplace. Its Manager Hub system is part of the company's people analytics project, helping managers take data-based decisions and advise what the outcomes will be if they make that decision.
According to a 2020 study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, around 300 HR and HR information technology leaders reported they buy from multiple tech vendors. Meanwhile, 234 leaders said they plan to increase the number of tech vendors they use over the next one to three years.
The data alone shows a high demand for HR tech today. PwC also noted that the rise of HR tech buyers suggests that first-mover software vendors may have an audience if they tackle the suitable business needs.
Combining roles with technology As many companies that employ HR tech would tell anyone, it significantly pays to invest in these systems. Moreover, companies will get more return on investment when they use systems and programs that can resolve more problems than one.
For instance, recruitment firm Recruitday offers referral tools powered by Microsoft technologies to help companies gain quality hires. Technology from the computer giant enables employers to manage better and promote their referral programs, track the progress of applications, and introduce data analytics into their recruitment.
There's a reason for the special focus on referrals: data shows that 82% of employers rated employee referrals above all other sources for generating the best return on investment (ROI). Employee referral programs help companies save $3,000 or more per hire, reduce time to hire new talent, and even generate more profit.
Recruitday's offering helps HR leaders boost employee engagement as the tools already exist in a platform that they already use. Putting employees in the driver's seat offers several benefits. According to Smarp, companies with high employee engagement are 22% more profitable. A Gallup study also revealed that engaged employees are more motivated to work and do more beyond their primary tasks. Highly engaged business units see a 41% reduction in absenteeism and a 17% increase in productivity.
With recruitment and employee engagement resolved in one solution, HR leaders will have more time to tackle other pressing matters that require their oversight.
As we move further into the future, where we now face a new normal way of living, it's now more important than ever for HR leaders to enhance their organization's internal operations. There's no excuse for falling behind today with hundreds of cost-efficient and flexible tech-ready solutions at our disposal. (By Joel Garcia)